As for many professions, finding the best laptop always involves finding the right balance between performance and weight, large screen and portability, maximum features, and an affordable price.
Luckily, laptop providers produce products for different categories and professions. In this article, we’ll provide general buying advice on how to choose the perfect laptop and list some of the best laptops for graphic design on the market in 2021.
Once you have your laptop, you’ll most likely want to get a larger external monitor for your office. See our list of the best monitors for designers.
What is the best laptop for graphic design?
Apple MacBook Pro is the best laptop for graphic design and is available in 2 size variants 16″ and 13″. There are a lot more on the list. These are the top 15 best laptops for graphic design in 2021.
- Apple MacBook Air — Best overall value laptop
- HP Envy x360 — Best budget 2-in-1 Laptop
- Apple MacBook Pro 16″ or Apple MacBook Pro 13″ (Newest) — Best Apple Laptop for graphic design (Editor’s Choice)
- Asus Chromebook Flip — Most affordable laptop for graphic design
- Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 — Best gaming Laptop
- Asus TUF A15 — Best gaming laptop under 1000
- Google Pixelbook Go — Best lightweight laptop
- Acer Swift 3 — Best Budget Laptop
- LG Gram 17 — Best 17-inch Laptop
- HP Elite Dragonfly — Best HP Laptop
- Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 — Best Microsoft Laptop
- HP Spectre x360 — Best Touch Screen Laptop for Designer
- Asus VivoBook S15 — Best Mid-Range 15″
- Dell XPS 15 — Best Windows laptop for Designers
- Acer Nitro 5 Laptop — Powerful laptop for creatives
- Acer ConceptD 7 — Mobile workstation for creatives
If these laptops are out of your price range, see our post featuring the best budget laptops for designers.
Top Laptops for Graphic Designers Compared
Protect your gear from electronic power surges with best surge protector – check out our list of the best surge protectors.
Top 3 Most Popular Laptops for Graphic Design
These are the three best selling laptops for graphic design on Amazon right now:
How to choose the best laptop for graphic design:
There are six major factors you must consider when choosing a laptop as a graphic designer:
OS (Operating System)
The operating system should be the first thing you look at. While traditionally, the choice came down to either macOS from Apple or Windows from Microsoft, Google’s Chrome OS has become a very popular option and is usually found on laptops that are a little more budget-friendly.
The CPU is the brain of your laptop. If you’re doing design work, a processor that is fast and powerful is key. You want it to be able to run complex software without any issues. While there are many options out there, look for a quad-core or an extreme series processor.
When you’re working on your latest project, the number of programs you’re using runs much smoother if your laptop has a good amount of RAM inside. The laptop you choose comes with a specific RAM capacity. Don’t fret if you buy one without a lot of RAM, you should be able to buy and install more RAM if you need it. We recommend at least 8GB RAM at minimum but for high powered tasks 16GB is a good starting point.
There are two types of hard drives that you might find in a laptop: hard disk (HDD) or solid-state (SSD). While HDD are cheaper and can have more capacity, they can give your laptop issues. On the flip side, SSD are lighter, faster, and are more durable. Newer laptops tend to pack in an SSD. If you find one that doesn’t, you can always modify the laptop to add one.
To do their work effectively, graphics designers need a display that not only gives them ample screen real estate but also provides rich and vibrant colors. The last thing you’d want is for that bright green to look dull. For most designers, a 15-inch laptop is suitable, although bigger can be better if you have space and the muscles to carry it around.
Looking to buy a laptop with a touchscreen? There is no universal approach among designers when it comes to touchscreens. Some love them as they provide a quick and easy way to zoom in and out, others hate the touchscreens since they don’t add much to the experience. But in time, you will get used to the touchscreen.
Most graphic designers love novelty, as it brings inspiration and new ideas. You probably have a favorite workspace, but also venture out to coffee shops or co-working spaces. The absence of plugs at your favorite coffee shop can sometimes be frustrating. But with a good battery, you can take your laptop wherever you go and get the work done, all the while enjoying the digital nomad freedom.
The 15 Best Laptops for Graphic Designers & Artists 2021
The best laptop for graphic design overall in 2021
CPU: Apple M1 | Graphics: Integrated 7-core /8-core GPU | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch (diagonal) 2,560 x 1,600 LED-backlit display with IPS technology | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD | Dimensions: 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.63 inches
Not just the best laptop Apple has created, the MacBook Air is hands down the best laptop you can buy if you work in a creative field right now. Packed with a revolutionary ARM-based M1 chip from Apple that powers it, the MacBook Air is a thin, lightweight laptop that offers great performance for graphic design, video editing and other creative jobs in 4K and over 11 hours of battery life on a single charge.
While many Apple products reach the high end of most consumers’ budgets, the price of the MacBook Air is relative to many other options on our list. However, the ability to not only use Mac apps but also iOS apps for iPhone and iPad make this laptop a game-changer. Even if you’ve only owned Windows laptops before, the MacBook Air from Apple is worth jumping to macOS.
If you’re after a larger screen size or more power, we recommend the Macbook Pro which is item 3 on our list.
|➕ Environmentally friendly and recyclable||➖ Cannot upgrade RAM|
|➕ Brilliant display with 2560X1600 resolution||➖ Limited storage space|
|➕ Touch ID available|
|➕ Great battery life|
|➕ Better sound quality than other MacBooks|
Latest Price on Amazon:
- All-Day Battery Life – Go longer than ever with up to 18 hours of battery life.
- Powerful Performance – Take on everything from professional-quality editing to action-packed gaming with ease. The Apple M1 chip with an 8-core CPU delivers up to 3.5x faster performance than the...
- Superfast Memory – 8GB of unified memory makes your entire system speedy and responsive. That way it can support tasks like memory-hogging multitab browsing and opening a huge graphic file quickly...
- Stunning Display – With a 13.3” Retina display, images come alive with new levels of realism. Text is sharp and clear, and colors are more vibrant.
- Why Mac – Easy to learn. Easy to set up. Astoundingly powerful. Intuitive. Packed with apps to use right out of the box. Mac is designed to let you work, play, and create like never before.
Apple MacBook Air Review
Want a closer look at this fine laptop? Check out this Macbook Air review video:
2. HP Envy x360
The best budget laptop for designers (2-in-1)
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 4700U 2.0GHz Octa-Core (Beats i7-8550U) | Graphics: AMD Radeon Graphics Integrated | RAM: 16GB – 32GB | Screen: 15.6″ FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS Touchscreen | Storage: 512GB PCle SSD – 2TB PCle SSD | Dimensions: 14.1″ x 9.1″ x 0.7″
If you’re a designer that needs a laptop that not only looks but feels like a premium laptop without the premium price, you should check out the Envy x360 from HP. Thanks to its compact and sturdy design and excellent performance, it is the best budget 2-in-1 laptop for creatives that you can buy.
A 15-inch touchscreen is bright and brilliant plus it also supports the MPP2.0 pen from HP which gives you a great way to create beautiful images easily. The most exciting aspect of the Envy is what’s inside: AMD’s Ryzen 4000 series powers the laptop which can handle multitasking with ease and with AMD’s Integrated Radeon graphics card, you can expect to have good gaming performance delivered as well.
You may also want to see our full list of the best HP laptops.
|➕ Above-average display||➖ Battery life is not that great|
|➕ Metal build||➖ It makes noise while running|
|➕ Good performance||➖ Narrow touchpad|
|➕ Great keyboard|
|➕ Great value for money|
|➕ Balanced port selection|
Latest Price on Amazon:
- 【Upgraded】RAM is upgraded to 16GB high-bandwidth RAM to smoothly run multiple applications and browser tabs all at once. Hard Drive is upgraded to 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 Solid State Drive allows to...
- 【Processor】AMD Ryzen 7 4700U 2.0GHz Octa-Core Processor up to 4.1GHz, AMD Radeon Graphics
- 【Screen】15.6" Full HD IPS Anti-glare Micro-edge WLED-backlit Touchscreen (1920 x 1080) Display, Multitouch-enabled, Edge-to-edge Glass, 250 nits, 45% NTSC
- 【Ports and Operating System】1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (10 Gb/s signaling rate, Power Delivery 3.0, HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4, HP Sleep and Charge), 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A (5 Gb/s signaling rate,...
3. Apple MacBook Pro 16″ (Editor’s Choice)
Still one of Apple’s best laptops
CPU: 9th-generation Intel Core i7 – i9 | Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 5300M – Radeon Pro 5500M | RAM: 16GB – 64GB | Screen: 16-inch Retina display with True Tone | Storage: 512GB – 8TB SSD
The 16-inch MacBook Pro from Apple is still one of their best laptops although it may not be the newest (see 13″ MacBook Pro). Even at a size of 16 inches, the MacBook Pro comes with a thin, light, and sleek design that belies its size.
That extra size gives you extra real estate to create incredible designs on a stunning display that is just the beginning of the latest and greatest components that Apple has to offer inside. It also makes for a perfect second monitor if connected to a larger screen.
For content creators, designers, or any other creative professional, the MacBook Pro is easily the best MacBook out there as it also has a set of amazing speakers and a great keyboard to go along with it.
|➕ It is fast||➖ Expensive|
|➕ It has a great screen||➖ The display is not 4K|
|➕ Touchbar is a plus||➖ A little heavier|
|➕ Improved keyboard and speakers|
Latest Price on Amazon:
- Ninth-generation 6-Core Intel Core i7 Processor
- Stunning 16-inch Retina Display with True Tone technology
- Touch Bar and Touch ID
- AMD Radeon Pro 5300M Graphics with GDDR6 memory
- Ultrafast SSD
The best affordable Chromebook for graphic designers
CPU: Intel Pentium – Core m7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 510 – 515 | RAM: 4GB – 8GB | Screen: 12.5-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) LED backlit anti-glare display | Storage: 32GB – 128GB eMMC”
When you have to choose the best Chromebook for designers, you find yourself having to pick between two completely different options. You could go high-price with the Chromebook Pixelbook Go or the much more affordable and still excellent Chromebook Flip.
With an Intel Core processor, Full HD display, touchscreen, plus backlit keyboard and USB-C port, the Flip is a great option for those designers who are on a budget or even students as the Chromebook Flip is one of the best budget-friendly Chromebooks and laptops that you can buy today.
Keep in mind that you will need to opt for the 8GB version to properly run Adobe Creative Cloud mobile apps such as Photoshop Express, Photoshop Mix, Photoshop Fix, Photoshop Sketch and Lightroom. These Chromebook apps are not as equivalent to the full desktop Photoshop app that you get on regular laptops.
If you’re after a Chromebook you should also consider our best Chromebooks for graphic design feature.
|➕ Lightweight.||➖ No USB Type A port|
|➕ Great design||➖ Keyboard gives a spongy feel|
|➕ Great battery life||➖ Compatibility of Android apps is still in beta|
|➕ Excellent performance||➖ Expensive|
|➕ Can run Android apps|
Latest Price on Amazon:
- 14 inch Touchscreen FHD 1920x1080 4-way NanoEdge display featuring ultra-narrow bezels (5mm thin) around each side of the display that allows for a 14 inch screen to fit in the body of a 13inch laptop...
- The FHD display has a durable 360 degree hinge that can be used to flip the touchscreen display to tent, stand, and tablet mode.
- Powered by the Intel Core m3-8100Y Processor (up to 3.4 GHz) for super-fast and snappy performance. If you use a ton of tabs or run lots of apps, this has the power to get it all done with ease.
- 4GB DDR3 RAM; 64GB eMMC storage and 2x USB Type-C (Gen 1) and 1s Type-A (Gen 1) ports plus a super bright backlit keyboard.
- The lightweight (3lbs) all-aluminum metal body makes the C434 both durable and beautiful for a timeless look that will never go out of style.
2021’s best gaming laptop for designers
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS – 9 4900HS | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 | RAM: 16GB – 32GB | Screen: 14-inch Non-glare Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS-level panel, 120Hz – 14-inch Non-glare WQHD (2560 x 1440) IPS-level panel, 60Hz | Storage: 512GB / 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0
While it’s missing a Thunderbolt 3 port and a webcam, the Zephyrus G14 from Asus comes darn close to being a perfect laptop for designers and the best gaming laptop of 2021, and the biggest reason why is because of the incredible performance that it musters with an AMD Ryzen 4000 processor and Nvidia RTX 2060 graphics card under the hood. While it’s geared toward gamers, the specs will keep any graphic designer happy.
An exceptionally long battery life that will last all day long and a display that comes with a 120Hz refresh rate all packaged into a lightweight, ultra-thin design that will make your latest project look incredible or help you beat the competition during long hours of gaming after work.
|➕ Excellent CPU performance||➖ No webcam|
|➕ Great audio and display||➖ No Thunderbolt 3 connection|
|➕ Good battery life (11 hours approx)||➖ Heating issue|
|➖ No wired Ethernet|
Latest Price on Amazon:
- AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS(beat 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10750H), 8 Core processor up to 4.20 GHz, features machine intelligence that anticipates your needs. Discover true responsiveness with 8 cores and 16...
- 14" Full HD display, windows 10. 12GB dual channelhigh-bandwidth DDR4 runs for intense multitasking and gaming, 512GB PCIe SSD saves files fast and stores more data.
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650graphics, Backlit keyboard, Virtual Reality Ready with required specs to run Virtual Reality hardware and software and is compatible with Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Windows...
- Chiclet keyboard with white backlight allows you to enjoy comfortable and accurate typing, even in dim lighting.
- Wireless/Wired connectivity (WiFi 6 - 802.11 ax), 2 x USB 3.0 Type A Ports, 1 x USB Type C Charging Port, 2 x USB 3.2 Type C Port, 1 x HDMI Output, Virtual Reality Ready, Weighs 3.64 lbs. and measures...
6. Asus TUF A15
2021’s best affordable gaming & design laptop
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 4600H – 7 4800H | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660TI – RTX 2060 | RAM: up to 32 GB SDRAM | Screen: 15.6″ (16:9) FHD (1920×1080) 60Hz Anti-Glare IPS-level Panel – 15.6″ (16:9) FHD (1920×1080) 144Hz Anti-Glare IPS-level Panel | Storage: 1TB 5400 rpm SATA HDD – 256GB/512GB/1TB PCIe Gen3 SSD
While the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is the best gaming laptop for designers in 2021, it may be out of some people’s price range. The TUF A15 from Asus may be more affordable but that doesn’t mean that it lacks in terms of performance.
Packed with an incredible AMD Ryzen 4000 processor inside makes the TUF a great machine with great value, long battery life, and durability as well. An Nvidia RTX 2600 graphics card makes every image you create look incredible in 1080p and it does all of this without punching a hole in your wallet.
If you’re a designer in need of a great laptop on the cheap one that can handle the occasional bump, the TUF A15 from Asus is a clear winner.
|➕ Performance upgrade over the previous generation||➖ Display color accuracy isn’t great|
|➕ Smart placing of ports (most on the left)||➖ The lid has too much flex|
|➕ 144Hz display||➖ The design is not so good|
|➕ Battery life is better than average|
Latest Price on Amazon:
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB GDDR6 Graphics (Base: 1380MHz, Boost: 1515MHz, TDP: 50W)
- AMD Ryzen 5 4600H Processor (up to 4.0 GHz)
- 15.6” 144Hz FHD (1920x1080) IPS-Type display
- 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD | 8GB DDR4 3200MHz RAM | Windows 10 Home
- Durable MIL-STD-810H military standard construction
The best lightweight laptop for designers in 2021
CPU: Intel Core m3 – Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 615 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) or 4K LCD touchscreen | Storage: 128GB – 256GB eMMC
What is the best lightweight laptop? The Pixelbook Go from Google is the best lightweight laptop and a designer’s dream, especially if you’re a fan of Chromebooks. While their previous release, the Pixelbook was an amazing piece of tech, it was also very expensive.
The Pixelbook Go keeps a lot of that same excellence but without the high price and it also comes with some upgrades including an incredible keyboard and amazing battery life that will help you complete every project.
With impressive specs, the Chrome OS soars on this laptop and the overall performance is on par with many other laptops on our list. If you’re a Chromebook fan, this is the Chromebook to own in 2021.
If you’re after a Chromebook you should also consider our best Chromebooks for graphic design feature. The Google Pixelbook is our pick for the best Chromebook for graphic design.
|➕ Great design||➖ Lacking microSD storage expansion|
|➕ 1080p webcam||➖ No fingerprint scanner|
|➕ Good battery life (up to 12 hours)||➖ Chunky bezels|
Latest Price on Amazon:
- Pixelbook Go lets you stay unplugged for up to 12 hours  so you don't need to carry a charger; when you do need a charge, get up to 2 hours of battery use in just 20 minutes so you can keep going...
- Lightweight Chromebook laptop that's barely 2 pounds and 13 millimeter thin with a grippable design making it easier to carry
- Protects your data passwords, and information with the Titan C security chip and built-in antivirus software; Chrome OS updates automatically to give you the latest features and security 
- Starts up in seconds so it's always ready when you are; the 8th Gen Intel Core Processor is quick and responsive powering everything you do
- Pixelbook Go is a quiet and comfortable laptop with a backlit keyboard ultra quiet keys, and and a spacious touchpad that only needs a light touch
8. Acer Swift 3
The best budget laptop for graphic design in 2021
CPU: up to Intel Core i7-8565U | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce MX150, Intel HD Graphics 620 or AMD Radeon Vega 8 | RAM: 4GB – 8GB | Screen: 14-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) ComfyView IPS – 15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) | Storage: 128GB – 1 TB HDD, 16 GB Intel Optane Memory
Acer Swift 3 is the budget laptop for graphic design on our list. Although it has a modest casing, the Swift 3 from Acer is an excellent laptop for designers with plenty of power for all of your design needs. An inexpensive laptop with a basic chassis, the Swift 3 has a strong, Intel Core i7 engine under the hood.
While the performance of the Swift 3 is similar to that of other higher-priced laptops, the display comes with a lower resolution than others but the biggest difference is the affordable price.
A roomy trackpad and backlit keyboard make for a comfortable typing experience that makes writing easy whether you’re traveling or in the office, the Swift 3 from Acer is a great affordable laptop for any designer.
|➕ Good performance overall, and battery life is also good||➖ The keyboard layout is clumsy|
|➕ Super light||➖ Pin is required to access the MicroSD slot|
|➕ Thunderbolt 3 port is available||➖ Humming noise observed|
Latest Price on Amazon:
- AMD Ryzen 7 4700U Octa-Core Mobile Processor (Up to 4.1 GHz) with Radeon Graphics; 8GB LPDDR4 Memory; 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
- 14" Full HD Widescreen IPS LED-backlit display (1920 x 1080 resolution; 16:9 aspect ratio)
- Intel wireless Wi-Fi 6 AX200 802.11ax; HD webcam (1280 x 720); Backlit keyboard; Fingerprint reader
- 1 - USB Type-C port USB 3. 2 Gen 2 (up to 10 Gbps) DisplayPort over USB Type-C and USB Charging, 1- USB 3. 2 Gen 1 port (featuring power-off charging), 1 - USB 2. 0 port and 1 - HDMI port
- Just 0.63" thin and 2.65 pounds and up to 11.5 hours of battery life
9. LG Gram 17
An incredibly light 17-inch laptop
CPU: Intel Core i7-1065G7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 17-inch 1600p (2,560 x 1,600) | Storage: 2 x 512GB SSD
When designers normally shop for a 17-inch laptop, they tend to get stuck buying a laptop that is not great in terms of portability. This size (17-inch) laptop tends to be large and bulky, although they come packed with the most powerful components available to attract creative professionals.
The LG Gram is the antithesis of the standard 17-inch laptop with an Intel Ice Lake Ultrabook processor which makes the laptop as light as some 13-inch options. At less than three pounds, the LG Gram 17 comes with a glorious display and a battery that lasts more than 14 hours. It’s a perfect recipe for any designer who is sick and tired of lugging around a sub-par, heavy laptop.
Also be sure to check out our post on the best 17″ laptops.
|➕ Great battery life (9.5 hours)||➖ Slow SATA 3 SSD|
|➕ Has a good thermal system||➖ Speakers and keyboard are not up to standard|
|➕ Thunderbolt 3 available|
|➕ Good CPU and GPU performance (because running 10th Gen Intel CPU)|
Latest Price on Amazon:
- 10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7 Quad-Core Processor (1.3 GHz up to 3.9 GHz with Turbo Boost) / 16GB DDR4 Dual Channel @ 3200MHz SDRAM / 512GB M.2 Solid State Drive (SSD)
- 17 Inch WQXGA (2560 x 1600) IPS Display / Intel Iris Plus Graphics
- Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 WLAN 2x2 + Bluetooth 5.0 / 2x 1.5W Stereo Speakers / Integrated HD Webcam / Back-lit Keyboard / Thunderbolt 3 Interface
- 1.5W x 2 Stereo Speakers / 3 USB 3.1, 1 USB 3.1 Type-C, 1 HDMI / Micro-SD Card Reader / Fingerprint Reader
- 2 Cell 80Wh Lithium Ion Battery / Windows 10 Home / Magnesium Alloy Chassis
The best 2-in-1 laptop for graphic design in 2021
CPU: 8th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3″ diagonal Full HD touch display – Full HD touch Sure View display | Storage: 256 GB SSD
The Elite Dragonfly from HP is one of the most stylish and slimline laptops available today, plus it’s also loaded with powerful components and incredible features that make design work a breeze to complete. Even though it’s marketed as a business laptop, that doesn’t mean it isn’t great for designers as well. With a beautiful build design and amazing screen, the Dragonfly comes with excellent battery life, a keyboard that is a joy to type on, and comes with LTE connectivity.
Not found on many other laptops, this allows you to plug in a SIM card and access mobile internet wherever you’re located without having to worry about slow or compromised Wi-Fi hotspots. Whether you’re in business or work in graphic design, the Dragonfly from HP certainly delivers.
|➕ Long battery life (38-watt and 55-watt hour battery)||➖ Charging ports only on the right side of the laptop, which can hinder mouse use|
|➕ Enhanced security features||➖ May heat up a bit while working|
Latest Price on Amazon:
The best Microsoft laptop for graphic designers in 2021
CPU: 11th Gen Intel Core i5 and i7 or AMD Ryzen 5 | Graphics: Intel Iris Xe Graphics, AMD Microsoft Surface Edition: AMD Radeon | RAM: 8-32GB | Screen: 13.5″ or 15″ | Storage: 256GB-1TB SSD
Although Microsoft is best known for its software, it has recently released some excellent laptops. The most recent of which is the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4, a perfect laptop for graphic designers. It not only has a beautifully thin and sleek design, but it also boasts an outstanding PixelSense touchscreen that will make your work appear its finest.
It also has a great keyboard, powerful hardware, and long battery life. It’s an excellent showcase for Windows 10, and it’s more than capable of running any graphic design application you can think of.
|➕ Amazing screen||➖ Lack of ports|
|➕ Sleek chassis||➖ Slow SSD speeds|
|➕ Good battery life|
|➕ Great speakers|
Latest Price on Amazon:
- Power to do what you want with up to 70% more speed than before and an 11th Gen Intel Core processor.
- Thin, light, elegant design in choice of two sizes: light, portable 13.5” or larger 15” that’s perfect for split-screen multitasking.
- Show your best side on video calls with sharp video and image quality, even in low light, thanks to a front-facing 720p HD camera.
- Enjoy theater-like sound for movies and shows with Omnisonic Speakers backed by immersive Dolby Atmos6.
- Be heard loud and clear on calls with dual far-field Studio Mics that capture your voice and reduce background noise.
12. HP Spectre x360
Best 13-inch touch screen laptop for designers
CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3″ FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS BrightView micro-edge WLED-backlit multitouch – 13.3″ diagonal 4K (3840 x 2160) UWVA BrightView micro-edge AMOLED multitouch | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD
In 2021, HP gave the Spectre x360 2-in-1 a massive refresh, plus a boost to the specs including a 10th-generation Intel Core processor and Iris Plus graphics card from Intel, all to help graphic designers and other creatives create the best work possible. Its incredible 2-in-1 design and beautiful chassis easily put HP’s laptop on our best for graphic designers in 2021 list.
While it’s a bit pricey, it does come with some nice extras including formidable security features and Bang & Olufsen speakers. The 13-inch Spectre x360 is only rivaled by the excellent MacBook Air in terms of build quality, design, and pure performance. If you’re more of a Windows user than MacOS, the Spectre x360 is a great choice.
|➕ Have a touch screen||➖ Heating issue|
|➕ A face recognition feature is available||➖ Loud fan noise|
|➕ Fingerprint scanner|
Latest Price on Amazon:
- Newly Launched HP Spectre x360 13T Cutting Edge GEM CUT Design - 10TH GENERATION QUAD CORE CPU: Intel Core i7-1065G7 (1.3 GHz, up to 3.9 GHz, 8 MB cache, 4 cores) four-way processing 1.30 GHz to 3.9...
- UNMATCHED AUDIO PERFORMANCE with QUAD Bang & Olufsen speakers: The partnership between Bang & Olufsen and HP brings premium sound to your personal computing device. With HP Quad Speakers, HP Audio...
- SUPERIOR SPEED and NETWORKING: Fast Data Access with 512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX 201 (2x2) and Bluetooth 5 Combo. Security management Mic Mute key; Webcam kill switch, 1...
- IMPRESSIVE HD PANEL with HD Active Stylus Pen and Thunderbolt Support: Experience exceptional colors and clarity with 13.3" Full HD touch screen (Resolution: 1920 x 1080) for hands-on control and IPS...
- 16GB SDRAM(ONBAORD), Bang & Olufsen Quad Speakers, HP Audio Boost, Fingerprint Reader, ALSO includes a Super Sleek, Super cool, 64GB ULTRA SLIM Tech Warehouse LLC USB Flash drive. A speedy little...
The best budget-friendly 15-inch laptop for 2021
CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics | RAM: 8GB DDR4 | Screen: 15.6-inch full HD (1920 x 1080) | Storage: 512GB SSD
While the Vivobook S15 from Asus hasn’t been out long enough to collect any dust yet, it’s already made quite an impression on designers. With the combination of a thin and light design plus great performance, the Vivobook earns a spot on our list. With an Intel processor, 8GB of RAM, and lightning-quick SSD storage, the Vivobook S15 can handle just about any project you use it for or any task you ask of it – except for gaming that is.
The beautiful 15.6-inch screen is crystal clear and vibrant. The laptop comes with enough ports to make connecting your peripherals a breeze and the price is well within a financially conscious designer’s budget. The only downsides are that the battery life leaves something to be desired and the ScreenPad, which replaces the touchpad below the keyboard takes time getting used to.
|➕ Comes with SSD and HDD||➖ VGA webcam|
|➕ Has an NVIDIA GeForce 940MX GPU with 2 GB of GDDR5 memory|
|➕ Fast charging and improved battery life (because of Lithium-polymer battery)|
|➕ Fast finger sensor|
|➕ 1.4mm key travel distance|
Latest Price on Amazon:
- Featuring the latest mobile technologies with 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8550U 1.8GHz (Turbo up to 4.0GHz) Processor and NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics
- 15.6" Full HD Wide View display with up to 178° viewing angle optimized for entertainment
- Slim 14.2" wide, 0.7" thin and portable footprint with 0.3" bezel for a stunning 80% screen-to-body ratio
- 8GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB M.2 SSD + 1TB HDD combo; Ergonomic backlit keyboard
- Comprehensive connections: USB 3.1 Type-C (Gen1), USB 3.0, USB 2.0, & HDMI
14. Dell XPS 15
The best Windows laptop of 2021
CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti | RAM: 8GB – 64GB | Screen: 15.6″ FHD+ (1920 x 1200) IPS – UHD+ (3840 x 2400) | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD
We’ll say it right now. If it weren’t for the MacBook Air from Apple, the XPS 15 from Dell would be the best laptop of 2021. Why? Well, first of all, the XPS 15 checks off everything a designer would want in a laptop. With the latest and best mobile tech from Intel, the laptop can be configured to have a discrete GPU which makes it the best laptop for graphic design and video editing.
Even though the price is very high, you get what you pay for with the XPS 15 – an incredibly designed chassis, excellent battery life, and a gorgeous 15-inch display that comes in FHD or UHD for incredible visuals. If you’re not a fan of MacBook, this is the laptop to get. Also, you can get it in a smaller size, Dell XPS 13.
|➕ UHD+ display with minimal bezel||➖ Moderate battery life|
|➕ Good quality speakers||➖ A little hefty at 1.8kg|
|➕ Well-build touchpad|
|➕ 3 USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 3 support|
|➕ Great build quality|
Latest Price on Amazon:
- 62% larger touchpad, 5% larger screen, and 5.6% smaller footprint
- 16:10 FHD+ edge to edge display equipped with DisplayHDR 400 and Dolby Vision
- Integrated Eyesafe display technology
- Quad speaker design with Waves Nx audio
- High-polished diamond-cut sidewalls
Powerful laptop for creatives
CPU: Intel Core i5-9300H | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 | RAM: 8GB DDR4 | Screen: 15.6 Inches | Storage: 256GB NVMe SSD
The Acer Nitro 5 is a great gaming laptop that is equipped with AMD hardware. The laptop has an AMD Ryzen 5 CPU, AMD Radeon RX graphics, and 8GB of RAM, which offers good performance and smooth features for graphic designers. The full HD display and a powerful battery are perfect for handling high-end graphic design applications without lagging issues. With plenty of connectivity ports and a good speaker, this is an ideal and affordable choice for gamers and graphic designers.
|➕ Type-C USB available||➖ Only a single color keyboard backlight|
|➕ NVMe SSD available||➖ Hefty|
|➕ Full HD IPS display|
Latest Price on Amazon:
- 9th Generation Intel Core i5-9300H Processor (Up to 4.1 GHz)
- 15.6 inches Full HD Widescreen IPS LED-backlit display; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Graphics with 4 GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM
- 8GB DDR4 2666MHz Memory; 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD (2 x PCIe M.2 slots - 1 slot open for easy upgrades) and 1 - Available hard drive bay
- LAN: 10, 100, 1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 port); Wireless: Intel Wireless Wi-Fi 6 AX200 802.11ax
- Backlit keyboard; Acer Cool Boost technology with twin fans and dual exhaust ports
16. Acer ConceptD 7
A mobile workstation for creatives
CPU: Intel i7-10750H | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 | RAM: 16 GB DDR4 | Screen: 15.6 Inches | Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD
The Acer ConceptD 7 is the best choice for graphic designers who want powerful performance like MacBook Pro at a reasonable price. With the great Nvidia RTX graphics, it is a beast for creatives and professionals looking to get their video and photo editing ventures underway. The striking Pantone-validated 4K IPS display and minimalistic design make it even better, along with smooth and easy connectivity. For those looking for a Windows alternative to the MacBook Pro, this laptop is the right choice.
|➕ Beautiful 4K display||➖ No SD card slot|
|➕ Powerful performance||➖ No fingerprint reader|
|➕ Sleek, slim design|
Latest Price on Amazon:
- 10th Generation Intel Core i7-10750H 6-Core Processor (Up to 5.0 GHz) with Windows 10 Professional 64 Bit
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 with 6 GB of dedicated GDDR6 VRAM | RTX Studio Laptop
- 15.6" 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) widescreen LED-backlit IPS Corning Gorilla Glass 6 anti-glare display with integrated touch supporting Wacom EMR pen | PANTONE Validated | Delta E <2 | 350nit Brightness |...
- 16GB DDR4 Dual-Channel 2666MHz Memory | 1TB NVMe SSD
- Wireless: Intel Wireless Wi-Fi 6 AX201 802.11ax Dual-Band 2.4GHz and 5GHz featuring 2x2 MU-MIMO technology | LAN: 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN | Amber Colored Backlit Keyboard
Frequently Asked Questions
What laptop specs do you need for graphic design?
The recommended laptop specs for graphic design are:
- CPU: Core i5 8th Gen or i7 8th gen or above
- Display : UHD or Full HD
- RAM : 8GB and above
- Graphics card: 2GB or above
- Storage : SSD
Do you need a graphics card for graphic design?
You definitely need a graphics card for high-end advanced graphic designing, especially video work. But, if you are just beginning, then the integrated graphics card will keep up with the tasks.
Is a laptop with an SSD better for graphic design?
Yes, laptops with an SSD (solid-state drive) are better for graphic design. You'll observe load-time reductions and improvements in system performance.
Which is the best graphics laptop?
What is the best graphics card for graphic design?
Is a gaming laptop good for graphic design?
Yes, a gaming laptop is a good choice for graphic design if it can handle complicated processes and high-resolution visuals.
What is the most cost-effective laptop for graphic design?
Asus Chromebook Flip is the best cost-effective laptop for graphic design.
What is the best laptop for graphic design in 2021?
Graphic designers tend to have a specific list of requirements for laptops. But rarely can you tick all the boxes on the list. More likely, you’ll spend hours researching all the different options and trying to find the best price-features combination.
The Apple MacBook Pro remains the #1 preferred option for many designers due to its stunning design and top performance. But other brands are also catching up with high-performance offers, that are no less pleasing to the eyes.
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